5 Essential Data Sources for Agritech Startups
The innovations led by agritech startups in India have a great potential to help us deal with farming problems in India; but developing, testing, and implementing technological solutions requires access to reliable sources with sufficient updated data. While there are many agricultural data sources, for independent startups specializing in a specific type of technology, narrowing down those that provide the specific data they need and remain updated, can be difficult.
So, here are 5 reliable data sources that every agritech startup (satellite based ) in India should know about
1. Bhuvan: Bhuvan is the national geospatial-portal developed and hosted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It comprises geospatial data, services, and tools for analysis. It has many versatile features such as (1) tools for the visualisation of satellite imagery and maps; (2) tools for analyses; (3) a free data download option; and (4) detailed reports on findings. The website features BHUVAN-2D, BHUVAN 3D, open satellite data, climate and environment data, and land use and land cover maps. All of this makes it an essential data source for GPS and geospatial applications.
2. Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre: Named after the great Indian statistician Dr. P. C. Mahalanobis, the centre was established to operationalise the use of space and space-related technology for better agricultural forecasting and drought assessment. Physical and chemical properties of soil are available at a scale of 1:25000. Geo-spatial data; soil sensor and soil fertility applications; and crop data, including crop mapping and cropping pattern data, are all hosted on the website. Most data are open access, and some are available on request.
3. India Water Resources Information System: Information on the state of water resources is a must for water resources planning and management. This website by the National Water Informatics Centre is used to disseminate these data to the public. The website features useful tools such as irrigation maps and water management applications; publications; and data related to surface, groundwater, and land resources. All data are open access.
4. India Meteorological Department: The objective of this website is to enhance transparency and reduce the delivery time of climate-related data to various stakeholders. Temperature, rainfall, and other climatic data are available on request. Weather-based applications and weather-based AI are featured on the website, functioning as additional tools and information for crop decision-making.
5. Bhuvan - JAIVOORJA: The focus of this source is on crop biomass. It is a subsidiary website of Bhuvan, featuring the Spatial Information System of Biomass Potential from Crop Residues. Data are open access and available through the website.
These websites could be useful to anyone in agritech, in addition to being indispensable for those focusing on the specific areas of technological development that these support—weather monitoring, soil and crop health, irrigation, soil fertility, biomass. Importantly, these are official government sources and are, therefore, reliable national data.
Today, the challenges faced by the agriculture sector are a great opportunity for trailblazing individuals and startups. The agritech solutions they provide can take us into a new era of sustainable agriculture, and reliable data sources such as these will play a big part in this journey.